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Full text of "My Country And My People"

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IJNTKUDUUriUIN                              ix

West did not so continue. The Chinese have viewed with
interest and sometimes with satisfaction the world war, the
depression, the breakdown of prosperity, and the failure of
scientific men to prevent these disasters. They have begun
to say to themselves that after all China is not so bad. Evidently
there is hunger everywhere, there are bandits everywhere, and
one people is not better than another, and if this is so, then
perhaps China was right in olden times, and perhaps it is just
as well to go back and see what the old Chinese philosophy was.
At least it taught people to live with contentment and with
enjoyment of small things if they had not the great ones, and
it regulated life and provided a certain amount of security
and safety. The recent interest in China on the part of the
West, the wistfulness of certain Western persons who envy the
simplicity and security of China's pattern of life and admire
her arts and philosophy have also helped to inspire the young
Chinese with confidence in themselves.

The result to-day is simply a reiteration of the old Biblical
adage that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's
teeth are set on edge. Young China, being wearied of the
revolutionary ardours of its father's, is going back to old China,
It is almost amusing to see the often self-conscious determin-
ation to be really Chinese, to eat Chinese food, to live ir
Chinese ways, to dress in Chinese clothes. It is as much of a
fad and a pose to be entirely Chinese these days among certair
young westernized Chinese as it was for their fathers to weai
foreign clothes and eat with knives and forks and want to gc
to Harvard, These present young people have worn foreigr
clothes all their lives and eaten foreign food and they did gc
to Harvard, and they know English literature infinitely bette]
than their own, and now they are sick of it all and want to gc
back to their grandfathers.

The trend is apparent everywhere, and not only in the ex-
ternals of dress and customs. Far more importantly is it to b<
seen in art and literature. The subject of modern Chines*
novels of a few years ago, for instance, dealt chiefly with moden
love situations, with semi-foreign liaisons, with rebellion
against home and parents, and the whole tone was somewha
sickly and certainly totally unrooted in the country. Ther